Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Homeschooling with Hannah

Homeschooling with Hannah.

Big sigh.

Not actually homeschooling Hannah.

But homeschooling the other four children with three-year-old Hannah here.

That is what this post is about. 

I'd spoken previously on the Blog about how to homeschool BIGS with LITTLES.  But with Abigail it was pretty easy. And when Hannah was a baby, it was not so hard. But then Hannah turned two, and it just kept getting harder.

The reasons are numerous, but I'll list a few:
  1. Hannah doesn't nap. All my other kiddos napped until at least 4. She has stopped napping before 3. IF she naps, she is usually in her bed tossing and turning until at least 10pm. No nap has eliminated any afternoon break I had with time to focus on homeschooling or time to just focus on me.
  2. Hannah doesn't have many things she likes to do for more than about 3 minutes. Any activity is very short and not always very sweet. (Our house is not large. Activities must be cleaned up right away to make room for new activities.) The only thing she will do for more than 3 minutes is watch a show. Ipad apps don't impress her. Recently she has started doing puzzles, and a bit of play dough but mostly
  3. Hannah is mischievous. When not watched she can actually get into big trouble by eating things she shouldn't, sticking things up her nose, wandering away to do something dangerous. (My other three kids never did this type of thing.)
So a few weeks I reached out to my Facebook homeschool group. (We are called Homeschool Hugs if you are interested in joining.) I posed my dilemma. And I was presented with some great ideas. I have recently begun implementing them and wanted to share how they are working for me:
  1. Let her watch more than 2 shows a day. I was surprised at how many veteran moms let me off the hook on this one! (Two 30-min shows a day is our house rule.) It isn't ideal, but it is the fact. I need the shows. I need help sometimes if I am going to work with the BIGS on school work. I have realized that years from now I won't regret extra show, but I will regret losing my mind. So I am trying to use more educational shows like:
    • LeapFrog
    • SuperWhy
    • Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
    • Bible videos
    • Magic School Bus
    • Odd Squad
  2. Find things she can do to earn her shows. She has gotten on board with this and is doing puzzles to earn another show!
  3. Know that this is a phase. It will pass (way too fast in all actuality.) But for now, do my best.
  4. Continue (and do more) independent work with other three. I am totally doing this. Nearly 90% of the schooling my kids do is stuff they can do without my interference. This is especially true with the boys (2nd grade). Abigail (pre-K) isn't quite there yet.
  5. Many people also suggested day-care and/or preschool. We decided this was not a good fit for us primarily due to our distance from town. (It would take me two hours a day driving to take her to something.)
  6. Ask in-laws and JB to focus on spending time with just Hannah. Try to find time myself to spend just with her as well. She needs more of me, but me is schooling three other kiddos.
  7. Assign the older kids "time with Hannah" as part of their daily school assignments. In our house, we use a daily checklist like the one pictured below. Check it out. I now have Hannah time scheduled in for the other kids to do during their day. (They also have 15 minutes of playing with dog time too.)

What about you? How do you homeschool your bigs with a little in tow?

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